Six Things I Love About the Kindle

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Yes, I love the Kindle. I know this is not an area of consensus among book lovers. I have heard (or read) from the naysayers.
Before I list reasons why I love the Kindle, I want to address a couple of things that I have sometimes read from the naysayers.
One is a claim that Kindles will cause eye strain. My Kindle does not cause eye strain. The screen is not lit like a computer screen, and the type size is adjustable.
The other is an idea I have heard expressed that traditional books and ereaders are in direct competition and a fear that bookstores and libraries will one day be obsolete. My thought is that traditional books and ereaders can coexist. I don’t think Kindles or any ereaders will ever completely and utterly replace traditional books, and I don’t think of them as being in direct competition with one another. The Kindle just gives us a different option for how to read and store books.

If you were to browse my Pinterest boards, you’d see I have one for beautifully bound vintage books and one for bookstores and libraries, so I definitely see the beauty of traditional books.

That said, the Kindle has some serious advantages that a physical library does not.

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1. The Kindle has lots and lots of storage.

I used to get catalogs for Easton Press, a press that produces beautiful renditions of classic and popular literature with leather covers, gilt-edged pages and stunning full color illustrations. It’s a nice dream to think of owning a library of these beautiful books. I don’t have the funds, wherewithal or physical space to do it. An impressive Kindle library is much more obtainable.

I am almost embarrassed to tell you how many books I have stored on my Kindle. If they could magically be transmogrified into physical books, they could fill a dream personal library room. I don’t have such a room, and I don’t have that kind of physical storage space. The Kindle allows me to own many more books than I could otherwise, since I can store hundreds of books on one thin little device.

Honestly, I don’t remember how many gigabytes my particular device has, and there have been a few updates to Kindles since I got my model. Different Kindle models have had between 2 to 4 GB, and even 2 GB can store up to 1,100 books. I have over 500 on mine and have not run out of storage. I also have access to storage in the Amazon Cloud, so even if I break my Kindle, I will not lose my books.

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2. The Kindle won’t weigh down my purse or my luggage.

I like to read (obviously.) I like to read during all of the little lulls in life: during lunch breaks if I’m alone, while dining out alone, while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, on long car rides or even while standing in a long line at the DMV. While watching TV, I sometimes switch to reading during commercial breaks. I also like to read on my vacations and have, in the past, carried five or six books in my luggage just to be sure I had enough reading material to last the week.

A traditional book weighs a lot more than a Kindle. Multiple books certainly do. I remember lugging a fat copy of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, a book of over 1000 pages, to a former workplace, so I could read it during breaks.

A Kindle is thin and light enough to easily slip into a purse or luggage and won’t weigh it down. With just one small item, you have access to endless reading material. If, unlike me, you don’t already have a large library of unread books on your device, as long as you have a Wifi connection, you can go to the Kindle store and instantly buy and download something new.

On a car or a plane ride, if I finish one book on the Kindle, I can immediately jump into another, without even making an effort to pull another item out of my bag.

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3. With a Kindle, I don’t have to use odd items to hold pages open.

As I mentioned before, I sometimes like to read while I’m eating. I know other people like to read while they are on a stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical machine.

In situations like these, it’s hard to hold your book open and have your hands free for something else. I’ve resorted to using odd objects like salt shakers to weigh down my pages and hold it open to my spot. My parents once gave me a weighted leather bookmark for this purpose. It feels like a deadly weapon — and could probably be used like one — but it works well. Even so, with a Kindle, these kinds of objects are unnecessary.

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4. Reading in bed won’t make my arms tired.

Are you a librocubicularist? That is, do you read in bed?

Holding a book up to read in bed can feel heavy after a while. It can get really heavy depending on the length of the book you are reading. You will still need a book light or lamp, but reading a Kindle in bed is a much more comfortable situation.

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5. The Kindle makes it easier for me to read even more than I would otherwise.

I believe all of these conveniences add up to make it easier to read more books per week or per year. Having a large library at my fingertips in a lightweight device makes it possible for me to do more reading, taking advantage of those odd moments when I can give it some time and attention.

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6. Although buying a Kindle is an initial investment, Kindle books are usually less expensive than traditional books.

Kindle editions of books are almost always less expensive than the traditional editions of the same books. The only situations in which you might get traditional books even cheaper than some Kindle ones are at garage sales or library sales or other situations where you can find used books for less than a dollar. Many classics you can download for free on Kindle. You can find many others for a dollar, and there are always new monthly Kindle deals where you can download new books for one, two or three dollars.

What about you? Are you purely a traditional book person? Did this give you food for thought? Do you enjoy reading on a Kindle? Do you have any points to add?

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